Researcher Kelly Decorde from the Universite Montpelier in France was part of the European research team that found apples have similar cardiovascular protective properties to grapes. The researchers also observed that processing the fruit into juice has the potential to increase the bioavailability of the naturally-occurring compounds and antioxidants found in the whole fruit.
Using a variety of established analytical techniques, aortic plaque was evaluated to determine the effectiveness in decreasing plaque that is associated with atherosclerosis. Significant decreases were seen with the whole fruits and the juices of apples and purple grapes.
According to the research, “This study demonstrates that processing apples and purple grapes into juice modifies the protective effect of their phenolics against diet induced oxidative stress and early atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic hamsters.”
Researchers also noted, “These results show for the first time that long-term consumption of antioxidants supplied by apples and purple grapes, especially phenolic compounds, prevents the development of atherosclerosis in hamsters, and that the processing can have a major impact on the potential health effects of a product.”
In summary, the researchers stated that their work would help provide encouragement that fruit and fruit juices may have significant clinical and public health relevance.
Source: Decorde, K., Teisserdre, C., Cristol, J., Rouanet, J. Phenolics from purple grape, apple, purple grape juice and apple juice prevent early atherosclerosis induced by an atherogenic diet in hamsters. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. 2008, 52, 400-407.
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